Lung transplant: After your transplant

For the first four weeks after surgery, you will stay in the Iowa City area so that your progress can be closely monitored by our team. Your recovery process will include daily exercise in our pulmonary rehabilitation facility, twice a week laboratory testing, patient education, and a weekly visit with the transplant pulmonologist.

One month after transplant, patients return home. They will enroll in a local pulmonary rehabilitation program and continue to return to Iowa City weekly to see the transplant pulmonologist and have testing done.

After three months, the pulmonologist visits happen on a monthly basis.

Post-transplant testing

Throughout your life, check ups will include blood tests, x-rays, and lung function tests.

Your doctor will schedule frequent biopsies of your lung tissue within the first year to check to see that your body is not rejecting the new lung. These biopsies will be less frequent in future years.

You will take drugs for the rest of your life to prevent your body from rejecting the transplanted lung.

Normal recovery from a lung transplant can last up to six months. Your doctor will advise you on when you can return to normal activities when you feel well enough.

Last reviewed: 
January 2018

Interested in using our health content?